FIFA World Cup 2018: Russia’s success no accident, says head coach after Egypt win
Russia defeated Egypt 3-1 in a Group A clash on Tuesday to virtually assure themselves a place in the next round of the FIFA World Cup 2018 in St. Petersburg on Tuesday.football Updated: Jun 20, 2018 09:41 IST
Stanislav Cherchesov saysit is “no accident” that his Russia side have claimed maximum points from their first two Group A games at the World Cup.
Hosts Russia headed into the tournament on the back of a seven-game winless streak and with a squad ravaged by injuries, but a 3-1 victory over Egypt - following on from their opening day thrashing of Saudi Arabia - has all-but secured their progression to the knockout stages.
Strikes from Denis Cheryshev and Artem Dzyuba, combined with Ahmed Fathy’s own-goal, did the damage in St Petersburg, and a buoyant Cherchesov never had any doubts over the quality in his squad.
“We needed a win to sort the course to the next round. The Egyptians needed to win to maintain their chances,” he said.
“It is not an accident that we have two wins under our belt.
“It is a group that works together well, has cohesion. It is no accident. [Alan] Dzagoev is not here, [Yuri] Zhirkov was a question mark.
“All the players on the list should be prepared to play. There are no doubts over anyone on the list.”
Making his return from the injury suffered in Liverpool’s Champions League final defeat to Real Madrid, Mohamed Salah was on the fringesfor much of proceedings on Tuesday, although he still stepped up to convert from thepenalty spot in the second half.
And Cherchesov was quick to point out that his plan to deal with the Premier League Golden Boot winner had, for the most part, worked to perfection.
“We knew what Egypt would need to do. The question of Salah, I had to solve,” he added.
“This morning, Zhirkov agreed to participate because for a few days he had been hurt, his ankle and foot, but we knew what to do against him [Salah] and we managed to fulfil that.
“We prepared ourselves, analysed them. The game against Uruguay was quite telling, if we had played Egypt first then maybe we wouldn’thave had time to study them.”
First Published: Jun 20, 2018 07:16 IST